Caroline Chensey holds her Music & Mathematics Degree from St. Olaf College. She is a Data Scientist based in San Diego, CA with her equally geeky husband. Caroline has been attending San Diego Comic Con (SDCC) for 4 years. She enjoys the Marvel universe and is a PC gamer. She grew up on the newspaper comics (Calvin and Hobbes, FoxTrot, Zits to name a few), and the Uncle Scrooge comic books. One of her favorite panels that she’s ever been to was a meet & greet with Don Rosa, her favorite Uncle Scrooge writer/artist. Her favorite cosplay was dressing her parents up as Sith Lords and herself as Mara Jade Skywalker at SDCC 2014. Her mom was a character from the Star Wars video games, Darth Traya, and her dad was Darth Vader. Her favorite memory in costume was her dad telling Don Rosa in his Darth Vader costume how big of a fan he was of his work. Unsure if Don Rosa was used to old men with pasty-white face make-up in huge black robes approaching him, but he seemed to take it pretty well. While Caroline has not attended any conventions aside from San Diego Comic Con she loves Renaissance Fairs and is part of the Guild, Rogues of Avalon.
For the first panel, “Artificial Intelligence: Will Computers Take Over the World?” The Fleet Science Center featured Craig Titley (co-executive producer/writer, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), William Wisher Jr. (screenwriter, The Terminator and Terminator 2: Judgment Day), Dr. Ndapa Nakashole (assistant professor, UCSD Artificial Intelligence Group) and Navrina Singh (director of business development and artificial intelligence, Microsoft). I thought it was quite comical how these writers were quite convinced that if (when in their mind) singularity occurs, AI will proceed to wipe out the human race. As a scientist who works with AI and machine learning algorithms, I know that while they appear very intelligent, it is only as smart as those programming it. We are very far from any form of singularity though it could be simulated well enough to fool some. I will not say I don’t think it will EVER happen (ever is quite a long time) but it will not happen in our life time. I know the two scientists believed this as well but I don’t think they did a good job explaining to the audience unfortunately.
The second panel, “Behind the Scenes of Overwatch’s Newest Hero” featured Overwatch developers Michael Chu (lead writer), Arnold Tsang (assistant art director), Renaud Galand (lead character artist), and Geoff Goodman (principal game designer). This panel was fun, as we got to see some interesting artwork and got to see the progression of the new character in Overwatch: Doomfist. They showed, not only his artwork progression, but also how his abilities changed throughout the course of development. At one point he had knuckle guns, but then they realized he could only shoot 4 times before having to reload or it wouldn’t make sense. He also had the ability to pick people up and use them as a shield then throw them but then they decided he should be more the punchy-type (DoomFIST and all that) so they decided he should be less a tank and more DPS.
Probably more information on both of those than what you really wanted to know! 🙂
I saw many really good cosplays this year of Widowmaker from Overwatch, but the best I saw was Pyramid Head from Silent Hill. I only saw 2 and they were both done very well. I personally enjoy seeing the group cosplays. When you can get an entire group together to dress up, that is a lot of fun.
Some good ones I’ve seen are Power Rangers, The Avengers (or most of them), Halo characters, Soul Eater, and some characters from Super Smash Brothers. When you’re in a group, it doesn’t have to be as well done as if you were alone since the group gives more context. Otherwise the best cosplays I’ve seen have really fit the person’s body type/shape, or have been a clever twist on a costume done well. I did see a girl wearing a full length door which truly confused me until I saw it had 221B on the door and luckily I had just been watching Sherlock Holmes and was able to recognize it. Obviously her body type was not that of a door, but she made something very clever that many people recognized. I don’t typically take pictures because I don’t like stopping people and it is always extremely crowded.
I dressed as Elizabeth from Bioshock Infinite one year which was fun. I always try to make the pieces I can, but I have no ability to sew. I like piecing together my costumes from many different sources. For example, the control panel for my dad’s Darth Vader costume I made with a piece of cardboard and spray painted buttons from an old keyboard. I also liked flipping chocolate coins at people when I was dressed as Elizabeth. If you’ve played the game you would understand why.
Caroline’s Cosplays from SDCC listed in order: Elizabeth & Obi-Wan (2016), Scarlet Witch & Quicksilver (2016), Mara Jade (2014), Tron Legacy (2011)
Each year SDCC becomes more crowded, but I think this year those working did a better job of keeping the flow of people moving. There are also increasingly more things to do outside of the convention center for both badge holders as well as non-badge holders. It makes it less of a necessity to actually get a ticket which, as a San Diego resident, I like.
Logistics are essential for having a good time at comic con. There are SO many people that there will always be someone who is more of a fan of something than you are and is prepared to spend their entire 4 days of comic con standing in line just for a glimpse of the character who was on one episode of that show. If it really is a big deal to you to get into Hall H or Ballroom 20 (where the big Marvel or HBO shows reveal their sneak peaks) make sure you set up camp early in line so you don’t miss it. You can get in to the halls early and stay in all day, they don’t clear the rooms after each panel, but know that many people do this. Know exactly where you want to be and what you want to see, but if you don’t get in don’t let it ruin your whole comic con experience. There is so much more than just the panels!
I like to see the whole convention so I have never tried to get into the big halls and avoid them at all costs. Even avoiding those, there are lines EVERYWHERE. Eating lunch late/early and walking further from the convention center makes it much easier to get a table and reasonable prices. Parking and driving downtown is always a hassle. This year I took the trolley in from Qualcomm stadium each day which added on 45 minutes to my commute, but I didn’t pay outrageous parking fees or have to wait in line (another line!!) to get into downtown. I did drive one year but got in around 7AM. Definitely the way to do it if you do drive!
The exhibit hall is definitely my favorite part of attending SDCC. I love walking around and seeing all the artwork. So much geek all in one place! I buy a piece of artwork each year and this year was no exception. The only problem is I am running out of wall space…